An Attitude of Respect
110 Acres Protected Along Pigeon River
Minnesota natives Lois Ann and Larry Reed have always loved the outdoors and supported organizations that reflect their beliefs in caring for the earth. “We both grew up with the attitude we were to respect and be responsible for the environment and the creatures that share this world with us,” Lois Ann explained. While home base became Midland, Michigan, the couple and their two daughters would travel north to ski and vacation, and the Reeds bought a condominium on Round Lake near the Little Traverse Conservancy’s Round Lake Nature Preserve.
Over the years, they watched as the beauty of the North country was increasingly lost to unrestricted development and the selling of small parcels for homes and hunting camps. In 1985, the couple purchased undeveloped property near Cheboygan and later added to it. They later purchased a 110-acre property with 4,400 feet of frontage on the Pigeon River. Included with the property is a cabin Lois Ann describes as “rustic.” There is a gravity-fed cold water system, propane utilities, and no electricity or telephone. It proved a perfect retreat from the stresses of business life for Larry. Outside noise seldom intrudes to the cabin area, and the stars shine brightly at night with no nearby lights to interfere.
It was at the cabin that Larry made base camp and enjoyed hunting and using his tractor and back hoe for improvements to their land. As their family grew to son-in-laws and four grandchildren, the family spent many happy hours walking or cross country skiing the trails, fishing in the river or pond, and enjoying the changing seasons close to nature. When Larry was diagnosed with cancer, the couple decided to reduce their property commitments. At that time, their Cheboygan property was donated to Chippewa Nature Center in Midland.
Last year, Lois Ann decided the time was right to honor a lifetime of love of the land by donating a conservation easement that will ensure her Pigeon River property remains undivided and natural. “This property is a beautiful piece of wildlife habitat,” said Conservancy Director of Land Protection Kieran Fleming. Fleming pointed out that a total of 11 properties now protected through the Conservancy include more than 11 miles of the Pigeon River. “The Pigeon River empties into Mullet Lake which eventually drains to Lake Huron in Cheboygan. It is exciting to realize how broadly this protection now extends.”
Photo courtesy of Greg Czarnecki/Sue Dempsey
Since 1972, the Little Traverse Conservancy has been working as the oldest regional, non-profit land trust in Michigan. With the support of more than 4,100 members, the Little Traverse Conservancy works with private landowners and units of local government to permanently protect ecologically significant and scenic lands from development. Since it was founded, more than 37,000 acres and 98 miles of shoreline along our region’s lakes, rivers, and streams have been set aside to remain in their natural state within Charlevoix, Cheboygan, Emmet, Mackinac, and Chippewa counties. For more information about the Little Traverse Conservancy and land protection options for your land, please contact their office at (231) 347-0991 or visit www.landtrust.org.
September 12, 2008